Graham Leggett Ph.D.

Leggett, Graham
Position Department / Business Unit
EPSRC/RSC Professor of Nanoscale Analytical Science at the University of Sheffield Department of Chemistry
Institution Disciplines
University of Sheffield Chemistry
City State / Provence
Sheffield S. Yorkshire
Country Website
United Kingdom

EPSRC/RSC Professor of Nanoscale Analytical Science

Graham Leggett is the EPSRC/RSC Professor of Nanoscale Analytical Science at the University of Sheffield. He studied Chemistry (BSc and PhD) at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST), and spent time as a postdoc at the University of Washington and the University of Nottingham before being appointed to an academic position in Nottingham in 1994. He moved back to UMIST in 1998, before moving to his present position in 2002. He has eighteen years of experience in the analysis and manipulation of surface chemical structure. In particular, he is interested in the development of methods for the characterisation and organisation of nanometre scale biological interfaces. He has published over 90 papers. He has been a member of the American Vacuum Society Program Committee since 2001, was AVS International Symposium Vice-Chair for 2004, Program Chair of the AVS Biomaterials Interfaces Division (BID) for 2005 and BID Divisional Chair for 2006. He is a member of the Editorial Advisory Boards of Langmuir, Surface and Interface Analysis and the AIP’s new cross-disciplinary journal Biointerphases. Since beginning his independent academic career in 1994, organic monolayers have been a central feature of GL’s work. A major theme has been the photopatterning of self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of alkanethiols adsorbed onto gold surfaces. Work has addressed the fundamental physical chemistry of SAM photo-oxidation and the formation of micron-scale patterns using conventional mask-based processes. More recently, the Leggett group has developed the technique of scanning near-field photolithography (SNP) in which a scanning near-field optical microscope (SNOM) coupled to a UV laser is used to pattern a SAM. Using SNP, a resolution as good as 9 nm (nearly λ/30) has been achieved. The resulting patterns have been utilised for the fabrication of biomolecular patterns and as resists for etching three-dimensional structures into gold films. Recently the scope of SNP has been extended to include other classes of photoactive monolayers on Si substrates. Biological interactions at surfaces are a major interest. Initially, the development of an understanding of cellular attachment to artificial materials was a major focus, with self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of alkanethiols on gold surfaces being used as models to explore the role of surface chemical structure in regulating attachment mechanisms. The adsorption of cell-adhesive proteins has subsequently been studied using a variety of methods. Significant efforts in GL’s group have been directed towards the development of methods for the spatial control of biological organisation, using photopatterning methods. A final area of interest is the development of methods for the measurement of nanoscale tribological interactions. Friction force microscopy (FFM) is a particular interest. Not only does FFM provide insights into the fundamental basis of molecular friction, but it also provides a quantitative tool for the characterisation of surface composition and molecular organisation. Current interests include structural studies of SAMs, relating nanotribological behaviour to adsorbate structure and organisation; the development of an improved understanding of the contact mechanics of the tip-sample interaction in FFM; and the development of methods for the quantification of surface reaction kinetics based on FFM.


Bsc, Ph.D. University of Manchester

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